Steven J Burian, Ph.D., P.E.

University of Utah Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Working with the Urban Water Research Group, Dr. Burian advances the sustainability of urban water systems, with specific focus on green infrastructure, low-impact development, decentralized water and wastewater systems, and analyzing energy and climate impacts and urban water infrastructure system adaptation.

Dr. Burian participates in a wide array of education and outreach activities related to water resources. Shown here is Steve leading elementary school students in building and testing of water wheels from common household materials.

Working with the Urban Water Research Group, Dr. Burian advances green infrastructure planning and design and studies impacts of green infrastructure on the water cycle and climate. Watch this Video for more details

Dr. Burian studies strategies and practices to improve urban design. Specific areas of research include studies of decentralized water systems, bioretention and pervious concrete, energy requirements for urban water systems, and climate vulnerabilities and adaptation of urban water infrastructure.


Dr. Burian's photo


Steven J. Burian received a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and an MS in Environmental Engineering and a PhD in Civil Engineering from The University of Alabama. Steve's professional career spans more than a decade during which he has worked in design engineering, as a Scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, as a professor at the University of Arkansas and the University of Utah, and as a Director of a civil engineering and sustainability consulting firm he co-founded. He is a registered professional engineer in Utah.

Steve has accumulated expertise related to the planning and engineering of sustainable and resilient urban water resources systems including water supply, stormwater management, and wastewater collection. Specialty areas of research, teaching, and consulting include integrated urban water management, low-impact development, green infrastructure design, stormwater and urban stream management, flood modeling and consequence assessment, climate change impacts on urban water systems, climate adaptation of cities, life-cycle assessment, and the water-energy nexus. Steve's research projects have been funded by National Laboratories, EPA, NSF, DOD, DOE, State Departments of Transportation, and Private Industry. Steve has authored or co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications, more than 60 conference papers and project reports, and delivered several software packages and databases.

Recent News

Dr. Burian recently prepared and delivered in August 2013 a 3-day module on Sustainability Policy Implementation at the United Nations Summer School on Sustainability Transition Policies and Practices, Yonsei University International Campus, Incheon, Republic of Korea.